Dating etiquette can be one of the most difficult things to follow. It’s complicated because you’re working so hard to impress another individual whom you know very little about. Dating over the decades has changed tremendously, especially since women have become more liberated, and the age-old traditions of men as “knights in shining armor” have gone to the proverbial wayside. Today’s rules of dating etiquette should focus more on being polite, respectful, and yet, perhaps a little assertive to one another.
The dating arena has changed drastically in many ways. One obvious way dating has changed is because of the substantial reliance upon the internet as a means to meet new people. Dating web sites have popped up all over the internet, creating an entirely new genre of dating do’s and don’ts for the men and women who use them. There are even so called “speed dating” gatherings where an entire slew of single individuals meet at one time in a specific location. A game of dating roundtables ensues as single men and women switch partners after a certain amount of time together. The idea is to allow you the chance to meet and be introduced to a large number of single people in one setting, hoping that one of those individuals will be “the one.”
Whether you’re meeting someone face-to-face at a speed dating session, or through surfing various dating web sites, it’s important you employ some means of dating etiquette. Doing so not only will help you find someone you feel is compatible with your personality, but you’ll also set a precedent for what the relationship will be like as the two of you get to know each other better over time.
Never Be Rude
Your mother had it right when she told you that rudeness will get you nowhere. Being polite to another individual spans across a sea of social interactions. You never disrespect your elders, talk back to your parents or fail to show your boss common courtesy. The same actions should be heeded when it comes to dating etiquette. The no-brainer about dating is to be polite and respectful of the person you’re meeting. This means pay attention to what the person says when they talk, and give them good eye contact.
Probably the biggest no-no when it comes to dating etiquette is to bring up your past relationships and sexual experiences with someone whom you’ve just been introduced. There’s nothing more unpleasant than to hear someone else’s sob story or sexual liaison, and the date will end before it ever really began. The best alternative is to leave extremely personal information on the back burner until you both feel comfortable enough to talk about it, or an appropriate situation arises.
Don’t stand someone up, ever. If you can’t make the date, you need to call the person and explain the situation. If it’s impossible to reach them by phone, then you need to go ahead and meet them at the specific time and explain why you can’t stay. This will not only save you from hateful e-mails or phone calls about having absolutely no standards, but you’ll avoid burning any bridges in regards to future meetings.
Another way to avoid rudeness when it comes to dating etiquette is to refrain from using vulgar words or phrases in front of your date. Unless they instigate that kind of verbiage, it’s wise to keep vulgar words to yourself for the time being. Perhaps down the road, as you two know each other better, you can relax a bit with what and how you say something. Being overly obnoxious or opinionated can also be viewed as rude by someone who doesn’t know you well, thus leading to a crash-and-burn situation where you never meet again. For the first few dates, test the waters and learn what the other person’s opinions and views are before you start spouting off your latest manifesto about life.
Knowing the Rules
Thanks to the onslaught of Internet dating sites and women’s liberation, dating etiquette on who does what has changed significantly. This is especially true when it comes to paying for a date. When your parents dated, it was an unspoken rule that the man would always foot the bill for dinner and entertainment. But today, things have changed somewhat. With women earning six figure salaries, picking up the tab is not necessarily the responsibility of men.
In a 2018 online editorial for The Morning News, Margaret Berry explains the rules on deciding who pays for what. Her suggestion is that whoever instigates the date, whether it is the man or the woman, should foot the bill. When it comes to a situation where you’re not sure about who should pay, then it is the guy who picks up the bill. But the woman will still pull her part by either cooking dinner or paying for some other form of entertainment for the next date, such as concert tickets or movie passes.
In this same editorial, Berry mentions the phone call situation of dating etiquette. This tip is pretty straightforward for anyone, and it’s to not repeatedly call or text the person after you make your initial contact. If you call someone, and they don’t call you back, then take it as a sign they aren’t really interested in getting together again. The same trick goes for e-mails. Make your initial contact with them, and then wait for a response. If you don’t get one, chuck it up as a good try and go on with your business.
Another rule of thumb to remember is to not flaunt extravagance in front of someone else. This could possibly be one of the most intimidating and annoying behaviors people display on a date. It goes back to the old adage that “it’s what’s inside that counts.” There is a lot of truth to this statement because elegant restaurants and high dollar gifts are nice, but personalities have to mesh before a relationship can have any substance.
In today’s Internet-savvy world, it would be a disservice to avoid talking a little about dating etiquette online. Kimberly Dawn Neumann provides answers to questions regarding online dating in her editorial for Match.com, an online dating web site. Apparently, the world of meeting someone through the Internet has a few different guidelines than more traditional dating measures.
First off, Neumann explains that online dating etiquette does not require you to respond to someone’s e-mail request to meet you. Unlike in face-to-face meetings, the silent treatment is actually a feasible way to handle this type of situation. But it changes when you have met the person physically. If, after meeting this individual, you decide there’s absolutely no chemistry between you two, then Neumann says it is necessary to respond to their request for a second date with a “no thank you, I’m not interested” message (www.match.com).
After you’ve met someone online, have dated them for a few times, and think the relationship will go further, online dating etiquette gives you the thumbs up for asking more personal questions. You can dig a little deeper and ask about where the person works, where they live or even about previous relationships. On the other hand, if you’ve dated someone several times and feel you no longer want to continue the relationship, then sending them a “so long” via e-mail is perfectly acceptable. Neumann says the only occasion where a face-to-face confrontation should take place to end the relationship is if you have been intimate with the person.
Finally, there comes the issue of when to take your online profile down after you’ve been in a relationship with someone you met online. When it comes to this situation, the best thing to do is decide together when the profiles should be eliminated. This will determine how serious the relationship is, and whether or not you both feel it will go further. If things are still in the beginning stages, then perhaps it would be wise to leave your profile up longer, just in case things don’t work out.
Dating etiquette has morphed over the decades as a way to comply with the modern traditions and standards of men and women in today’s dating world. With the introduction of so many avenues for finding single people, it’s perfectly acceptable to have traditions ebb and flow to meet the needs of modern society. But the bottom line with any rules and traditions regarding dating is to always be yourself, and remember the golden rule: “treat others as you would like to be treated.”
Are You a Dating Do or Don’t?
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